Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
At Saint Ana’s skete from the Holy Mountain was an elder who lived with his disciple, who was many times very disobedient.
Once on the eve of a holy celebration of Theotokos the disciple said to his starets:
`Abba, I’m going to catch some fish, because tomorrow is the feast of Theotokos. What are we going to eat?`
`Son, our neighbors are all of them fishermen and they didn’t catch anything, although they tried it hard for many hours. If Theotokos had wanted us to eat fish they would have caught and would have brought some for us. Don’t go fishing!`
`No, abba, I go fishing`, insisted the disciple.
`Don’t go!` said again his starets.
`But I’ll go`, said the disciple and left.
Then the starets thinking that his disciple had fallen into disobedience and fearing that something bad might have happened to him – he could fall in the sea or might have been forced to face another kind of temptation, went to his cell and started to pray with his rosary for his disciple.
The disciple arriving on the sea shore threw his fishing rod and felt that something was caught in the hook. He started to pull powerfully and after a while a black man with wild eyes came out of the water ready to swoop upon him. But an invisible force kept him away. The disciple terribly frightened started to run and the devil was running after him. And they ran and ran like this till they came near the skete. Reaching the hermitage the devil said:
`You, monk, know that I couldn’t do any harm to you because in the moment when you went to the sea your starets was praying for you. Otherwise I would have thrown you into the sea. You hear me. I would have drown you into the sea!
See what are the effects of disobedience!
Starets Efphrem Katunakiotis